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out of this of structural racism. we were told the moral arc of the universe bends towards justice and lord knows, we're still waiting for it to come around. that does it for "the cycle." joy reid is in the chair for martin once again. >> well said, toure. thanks. good afternoon. i'm joy reid. it's friday, august 23rd. for the president, it's not sleep till scranton. ♪ >> president obama set off on a two-day bus tour. >> i can mag big news. >> the bottom line is higher education cannot be a luxury. >> it's astonishing to the watch the self-destruction of the republican party. >> there is no more important regulatory reform. >> 40 votes to try to. >> repeal every single word. >> of obama care. >> here you have the speaker of the house saying let's put that fight off. >> i can't force these folks to do what's right. >> i think we're going to have another constitutional crisis.
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>> that's called impeachment. >> throws around i" word. >> the president obama is a personal friend of mine. >> talk of impeachment gets into the realm of birth certificate. >> amazing grace how swede the sound that saved a wretch like me. >> penny wise and pound foolish. >> president obama is on the road facing down his latest detractors in congress while getting to hear from everyday americans in atown haul meeting in new york as he deliberates matters from the economy and crisis to the economy and the crisis in syria, today continued a two-day focus on education. the president this afternoon got to hear what's on the minds of students and fact at binghamton university including a question on the sequester cuts and head start. >> we don't have the an urgent deficit crisis.
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the only crisis we have is one that's manufactured in washington and it's ideological. and the basic notion is that we shouldn't be helping people get health care and we shouldn't be helping kids talking about even deeper cuts in programs like head start. even deeper cuts in education support. you know, that's like eating your corn seed. >> a little home spun which is come from the president there with more to come this hour as the president makes remarks with vice president joe biden in biden's hometown of scranton, pennsylvania. but right now, we want to go to washington and naacp and chairman emeritus julian bond. thank you so much for being here. we want to get into a little bit of the politics. i would be remiss if we didn't talk about the march on washington, the 50th anniversary coming up this weekend on into wednesday. as a veteran of that movement, can you give us a big picture where we are 50 years on? >> well, we're on -- i would say
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about halfway to dr. king's dream if that far. but what he dreamed about hasn't been realized yet. the poll in the "new york times" today shows enormous gasp what white and black people feel about racial progress. it strikes us as a country struggling hard to do the right thing but not succeeding so far. >> what do you guess is behind that disparity between the way white americans and many black americans feel about the progress in race relations given the fact that we do have our first african-american president elected with substantial shares of the white vote? >> it's so elusive white people tend not to know other people who are black and black people don't know that many black people themselves. it's as if we are living in two different worlds and we don't really know how to judge the people over there who look like this. and everything seems to be fine. we do have a black president. isn't that the great news.
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therefore it must be a wonderful country and everything is all right. but if you're living in that country and an your skin is dark, know that is not true. >> i want to play you what a professor asked the president about his view on the progress we've made in 350 years. >> obviously, we've made enormous strides. i'm a testament to it, you're a testament to it. let's assume we eliminated all discrimination with a wand and everybody had goodness that their heart. you'd still have a situation in which there are a lot of the folks who are poor. >> and is that really the next sort of place that the civil rights movement has to go these issues of income inequality? >> it's the place where it should have been all along and tried to be 50 years ago when this was a march for jobs and freedom and the jobs seemed to have not gone the the attention they should have even though many of the people who spoke 350 years ago from the platform at the lincoln memorial mentioned jobs. and it ought to be a
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preoccupation for us today. but al apparently there are people in congress who don't want it to be and blocked every attempt to make jobs an important part of our american legacy. and as a consequence, we're slipping behind. and the job des a part between book and white americans, the unemployment rate between black and white americans is as frightening now as it was then. black americans have always had a higher unemployment rate than white americans have. we did then and we do now. >> just to get into the politics a little bit, you had senator tomko described himself as a friend of the president talking about the i word talking about imbeechment. it could be written off as pandering to the extreme parts of the base. is it possible to imagine president obama leading a discussion about improving things in this country with that kind of talk from his friends in congress? >> with friends like that, who needs enemies. this is incredible somebody should talk about it. it's not incredible today
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because we hear nutty ideas coming from this political party and we know there are even nuttyer ideas we've yet to hear. you look at the pattern of behavior over there will of people and the rodeo clown in a variety of ways make it clear they disliking this president primarily because of the color of his skin. he's guilty of president while black and as long as too many people feel that, we're still going to have disparities and opinion about had imand we're going to having this crazy talk and more and more crazy talk. >> you've almost reminded me now and it's probably one of the more depressing numbers in the recent polling. there was a recent poll that asked specifically about dr. king's dream and the point you just made about color of our skin. it asked whether right now in america, are people judged not by the color of their skin but the content of their character. 54% of all adults agreed with that statement but just 19% of african-americans. why do you suppose there's so much pessimism on the part of black americans whether or not they're being judged by the
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content of their character. >> it's not because black americans are naturally pessimistic. it's because they live life in this country and see what happens to themselves, to their children, they see their chances to move up the economic ladder stunted. they see their inbought to dolt better for themselves, their children, their grandchildren and see things not working out as well as they can. things were better than 50 years ago. there are loss in this country that prohibit me from being the victim of discrimination. but that doesn't mean that life is wonderful and everything is free. it means we've still got a lot of work to do and feed to have everybody put his and her shoulders to the wheel and make sure that work is done. we had a great movement in 1963 when this march happened. we need a great movement today. >> well, said, julian bond, thank you. >> thank you. >> of course, msnbc will have full coverage of the march and the speeches at the steps of the lincoln memorial all day tomorrow. coming up, we'll discuss the white house game plan for syria after this week's alleged chemical weapons attack.
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on the entire tempur-pedic cloud collection. but this sale ends soon! ♪ mattress discounters! the syrian civil what, been raging for two and a half years. and it's killed more than 100,000 people. including about 7,000 children. but it's the images of a possible chemical attack where estimates of the number of dead range from a few hundred to over 1,000 that have sparked calls for president obama to mount an aggressive response. however in, an interview this morning, while the president called wednesday's attack a big event, he didn't seem ready yet to cross his famous red line. >> there is no doubt that when you start seeing chemical weapons you had on a large scale
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and again, we're still gathering information about this particular event but it is very troublesome. >> joining us now, mark ginsberg, a former u.s. ambassador, now serves as president of lavalina arab production pchz ambassador, if this turns out to genuinely be a chemical attack perpetrated by the bashar al assad regime, does the u.s. have any other choice or i suppose we should say the u.s. and the world but to take some sort of military action. >> first of an all, there's a u.n. team already on the ground that has to verify this. i accept the opposition while the pictures are agonizing for someone like me who has been following this day in and day out, we have a right to know who is responsible because of all of the actors that are at play. but let's go to the president's posture in his interview which i watched very carefully. mr. president, i would say stop agonizing. okay? the worst thing to be appearing
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is to be pushes against your will to take actions inconsistent with your goals and objectives. between your not wanting to do anything and between putting boots on the ground, i could drive a truck through. here's what i would be saying to the president. mr. president, the fact that the chemical weapons have now been used more than once and the credibility of the united states is on the line and the assad regime has not been held accountable in an international criminal court and this is a violation of international law means it's not boots on the ground, mr. president, but you need to go to the united nations. you need to go to the united nations despite the russians and chinese and you need to send the assad regime a message that there could be ways for you to act that don't require to put boots on the ground. stop agonizing, mr. president. there are things that you must and should do. >> i mean to, that point, at the same time you do have a lot of political pressure on the president right now. i want you to listen to what senator john mccain, a known hawk, obviously, on all things
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to do with the middle east, this is what he had to say about the president. he said it's been a year since the president said that the use of chemical weapons in syria would constitute the cressing of a red line but because the that's have not been backed by any real consequences they have rung hollow. as a all the killing goes onon. >> i actually, to be honest with you, a couple of years ago, there was a bliss tierious attack occurred on a syrian air force base. the israelis may have been responsible. someone else may have been responsible. where are we going to be held responsible for nonactions we don't have to take credit for but the syrian regime knows that we're behind it. they need to understand we need to act, number one. number two, the fact of the matter is 100,000 people have been killed. at what point in time do my democratic friends in this
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administration wake up and realize this is a question of at what point in time do we stand for our principles. mr. president, you don't have to put boots on the ground in order to be a merciful actor from the air. >> you're thinking things like sanctions short of military action. >> even if we have to take covert military action, it's time that we did so. we're going to wake up two months from now and see another chemical weapon and our hands are going to be agonizing again? we have to stop doing that. >> ambassador mark ginsberg, thank you very much. coming up, the president and vice president will be speaking in joe biden's backyard figuratively. we'll bring ta to you live. but first, the ugly intersection of race and crime. >> i think that in the post trayvon era, there is kind of a perverse tug of war going on now. conversely conservatives are saying, hey, wait a second. why didn't the liberal media so exercised over the trayvon martin slaying take up the three
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it's a horrific tragedy all over the news. three teens arrested in oklahoma for gunning down and killing 22-year-old chris lane. an australian man in the united states on a baseball scholarship. an affidavit was filed with the district court in oklahoma on august 20th which describes the teens as twos black males and one white male. despite these facts, here's how some in the media told the story the next day. >> 22-year-old a white guy shot by three black teens, three black teens shoot white jogger. who will the president of the united states identify with this time? excellent point. >> what we do know so far as
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least one of these thugs has spewed anti-white racist comments and tweets. >> baseball player came from australia, targeted apparently by three african-american young men. >> and president obama jumped into the trayvon martin shooting. will he jump into the oklahoma thrill kill too? >> and for more, i'm pleased to be joined by vice president for policy and outreach heather mcgee and director of african na studies as the lehigh university professor james peterson. heather, i want to start with you and see if you can unpack for us why you suppose the right is so determined to have president obama speak out on the chris lane case. it's not as if there are not lots and lots and lots of horrifying murders that happen in this country every day. >> it's really a shame. there's such a difference. i mean, we have to say that this murder is deplorable. we don't have to defend it and we don't have to defend it at all as people of color because it's actually not the what most african-american young men would ever do.
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right? it is not a symbol of something larger in our society. whereas the george zimmerman case, what we felt that was so painful was that george zimmerman was armed not only with a gun but with the same kind of fear-based negative stereotypes pervasive throughout our culture in which a heinz study foundation found when monitoring the news in pittsburghing that 86% of the coverage of african-american males was about crime. so it's not a slol symbol of anything other than our gun obsessed disgusting violent video game culture and the depravity of these young men able to shoot and target someone outside of the circle of human concern for all of us as americans whereas the zimmermanen and martin case ignited a conversation we needed to have. >> it's interesting, james, that heather brings up this idea of culture. i feel like there's -- actually a really useful discussion we could have had and that could be had in the chris lane case about
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that cultural violence among a lot of youth, black, white and indifferent. you could see it in aurora, newtown and in the chris lane killing. but instead, we're having this sort of racial tit-for-tat. >> it's an unfortunate situation like you mentioned here, joy. i want to add on to what heather is saying. remember part of the reason we were outraged around the zimmerman case is because george zimmerman wasn't arrested for 44, almost 45 days. these three men, young boys actually have already all been arrested. the media is demonizing all of them, taking the statement of one and imposing it on the impetus for the crime on all three. this is a horrific crime and unfortunately, the crime itself is becoming a casualty of the culture wars because we're having these battles around race and gun culture and violence and they've all been politicized to such an extent we can't get to the core around the disaffected
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youth and the way they become disconnected from pr society. unfortunately, political opponents are going to fight over who can use race as a political football from here till the end of time. that does not serve the case well here for chris lane. >> absolutely. chris lane is getting lost in it, as is the issue of guns. i want to go back for a second to the trayvon martin case. that is what spawned the desire for revenge for people on the right. >> he got off scot-free. what do they need revenge for? >> just for the fact that african-americans dared to be outraged about the case. there is a sense of vengeance on the other side. one of the things you did see, heather, was trayvon martin portrayed as a thug and a criminal. one person said he was a rabid dog that needed to be put down. because for whatever reason, angry that people were upset, this need to portray almost all black menace criminal, almost inherent
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inherently. one of the things that's fuelling that in the chris lane case, you had this tweet by one of the alleged killers in which he said 90% of white people are nasty #hate them. now we're off to the races. >> and it's all so incredibly sadat this moment, right at the 50 tth anniversary of the marchn washington. we could be lifting up stories like antoinette tuff. that was a beautiful example of an african-american woman finding dr. king like love, god-like love and empathy for a young white male who tends to be -- who is the mass killers in our society who is armed with a gun and could have killed 500 young children but was able to be find an emp think beyond skin color and share her pain with him. and that is exactly the kind you have thing that we need to do for one another as americans and it's exactly the kind of thing that we are simply unable to do
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when we keep being so quick to dehumanize one another as frankly i think video games do in general and as we do in racism and that's the core of racism is finding a lack of humanity in someone else based on skin color. >> heather, i think you're absolutely right. and tony net tuff, america has fallen in love with her. >> you'll notice that fox news hasn't. i've been trying to see how much coverage she's been getting on fox news when it's not the stereotype, an african-american woman who was able to save a school full of children abtalk down a young white killer. hasn't been wall to wall coverage over there. >> that's a very good point. definitely not the narrative they want to have. i want to play sound from president obama responding to the heroism of and tony net tuff and get your response on the other side. >> i appreciate you, too. i learned from the best president from the world. no, that's me. you can't get when you've got a
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great leader in front of you. >> i expect the right to demand that barack obama find a white hero and call them i expect. >> it's unfortunate but our politics have been reduced to that kind of tit-for-tat. it's great for the president to each out. i think the angela tuff story is a great story. we've had so many tragic stories around school shootings. going back to your earlier point, what's happening around this whole chris lane thing, it contributes to the criminalzation of black youth youth which contributed to the unfortunate murder of trayvon martin. so all these things in terms of how they play out in terms of race and politics and who gets to score points, we need to put the scoring points aside and focus on the human question around all of these issues in order to make progress on them. >> i want to give you the last word, heather. is there nene chance we can get beyond tat for at that time and have a substantive conversation about violence, guns and race. >> i really do think we can.
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i have to be optimistic. gun violence affects people of all races in this country. the fact is we have a duty to our children and to one another to create more harmony, moraysal harmony. that's what this moment of recollection of the last 50 years and this moment particularly for our generation, our generation, the most diverse in america's history to the really fulfill that promise of being a multiracial country where we all get an equal say and chance. >> i hope one day we can have qualcomm passion for a trayvon martin and chris lane, both no longer with us. heather and james peterson, thank you both. and still ahead, the day's "top lines" featuring the unreasonable return of the "i" word. [ dog ] we found it together. on a walk, walk, walk. yeah, we found that wonderful thing. and you smiled. and threw it.
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impeachment fever, here are today's "top lines" with there's no shortage of criticism. >> there's knows shortage of criticism being directed at president obama. >> why aren't you impeaching the president? >> that talks includes talk of impeachment. >> tell me how sick impeach the president of the united states. >> you could probably get the house of representatives to do it. >> senator tom coburn said he believes there is some "intended violation of the law." >> you have to establish the criteria for proceeding against the president. and that's called impeachment. >> michigan congressman kerry bentivolio to write an impeachment bill. >> he's a smart politics. >> i don't have the legal background to know if that rises to high crimes and misdollars. i think they're getting close. >> one day he goes out and says let's talk about shutting down the government, crazy talk.
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>> mr. chairman. >> aspersions on my asparagus. >> then he goes to a town hall and he panders like there is no tomorrow. >> i think we're going to have another constitutional crisis in our country in terms of the president. >> he knows there's no grounds for impeachment. >> were you surprised to hear tom coburn who calls himself a friend of the president? >> the president's a good friend of mine and i consider him a friend. can you imagine how he treats people who weren't his friends? >> maybe he feels insecure. maybe he just wants to get out of town all in one piece. >> he is speaking with the constitutional authority of a franed obstetrician which is what he is. >> but he knows being medically trained that this is crazy. >> late bring in our panel. joan walsh, and msnbc contributor goldie taylor. goldie, michele bachmann, we're used to that. but tom coburn? i want to read you what the president wrote about tom coburn not toot long ago when coburn was selected as one of the most
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influential people of the year "after i took office, tom received dozens of letters from oklahomans complaining we looked too close on tv. tom's response was how better to influence somebody than to love them. each of us hopes the other will see the light but we'll settle for being friends. what kind of friend is he? >> with friends my those, you don't need no enemies. . at the end of the day, it used to be a time when you could step into your very small saturday morning gop breakfast and say what you wanted to say without any real repercussions because what was said among family stayed among family. then they invented videotape. it's very difficult to have one conversation in the public square and then one conversation with your very localized constituents. in this case, they're sort of bleeding over for coburn, in up to his chagrin. the fact is he has had to try and distance himself from the president, shed his moderate
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ways in order to win re-election. that's what he's all about. so you can't show yourself too close to the president. you can't be seen walking in and out of the white house or in and out of dinner with this president. you have to show animus. what better way than to say he's impeachable. >> tom coburn isn't going to run for president. but talking about somebody who could be running for president, you wrote about ted cruz. he was asked about this issue of impeachment and he gave an answer that nicolle wallace, a lon actually worked for john mccain and george w. bush described as intellectual little dishonest. how would you describe his answer? >> it's absolutely factually dishonest. they require the house first and and then we've heard that the house has the votes but just to the go back to tom coburn for a minute because this is president really is a master of turning the other cheek in a way i can't speak for you or goldie but i don't think i'd be capable of
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because remember two years, exactly two years ago, tom coburn also spoke up to defend his friend, barack obama, and he said that the president didn't want to destroy america. he just wanted to encourage dependency because that worked so well for him as an african-american male. this man who was president the harvard law review. so again and again, tom coburn pulls out this friend card. and then uses it to completely undermine the president. and he knows better. also in that -- i listened to that hour long tape. he calls for a second constitutional convention. he says no, don't shut down the government over obama care. why don't you use the debt ceiling if you want to try to do that which is even crazier. many of us give this man a pass. he is supposed to be a reasonable republican. i just think we've got to change that equation. >> i committed the unpardon double -- saying slate when i meant salon. jones makes a great point.
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we are taking seriously the notion of he ted cruz running for president. what does it say about his earth that somebody who is considered one of the leading potential presidential candidates is talking about shutting down the government, about breaching the debt ceiling and impeachment in these casual ways? >> you know, joan really was right. this is about the grass-roots, the establishment is not in charge of the hen house anymore. the foxs are inside. it's our tea party grass-roots. they're in charge, and they show themselves through people like ted cruz. you know, i don't know that speaker boehner has the votes that he needs to get us past a debt ceiling or to get us past any other piece of legislation coming forward. he'll need to partner with democrats like nancy pelosi to get anything going forward to keep this government open. he won't, however, have the caucus that is i call it the cruz caucus. those people who are dead set on all returning or defunding obama care. i call it obama scare now. and shutting down this government as of october 1st.
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boehner was on a conference call earlier and warned them, remember 1995 and how detrimental shutting down the government was to us. and so it's not that i don't stand with you on principle and i'm against this law like everybody else, but ted cruz and the others, please stop and take a look at what it will do to us as a party if you do this. but he's not in charge. ted cruz and the cruz caucus is if charge. >>.joan, isn't the real danger in the end boehner and the republicans have to raise the debt ceiling there's no way. full stop. that is going to further empower and further embolden the ted cruz wing because they'll say sellouts, you sold you theous again. >> what's really scary, ted cruz, they're writing checks to their base they can't cash. they will never be able to -- i believe we will lift the debt ceiling. the president is not going to negotiate. you have tom coburn not running for re-election and who presumably knows better, the only thing that's going to help the republican party, we've been
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talking about this since january since the autopsy, the only that will help is for even conservative forgive people to a this is crazy talk. we can't indulge it anymore. we're not going to impeach this president. he got re-elected. obama care passed. it's the law. we can fix it. we can try to tweak it, but they won't say that. they're so afraid of the base and don't know where to go for future that they won't say the necessary words. we're stuck with this ratcheting up of insanity. >> we need a republican with the stature to tell the truth to the base. thank you so much, joan walsh, as well as goldie taylor. >> thank you. coming up, a political bromance born five years ago. we'll go live to scranton. >> so let me introduce to you the next president, the next vice president of the united states of america, joe biden. [ male announcer ] running out of steam?
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to prove to you that aleve is the better choice for her, she's agreed to give it up. that's today? [ male announcer ] we'll be with her all day to see how it goes. [ claira ] after the deliveries, i was okay. now the ciabatta is done and the pain is starting again. more pills? seriously? seriously. [ groans ] all these stops to take more pills can be a pain.
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can i get my aleve back? ♪ for my pain, i want my aleve. [ male announcer ] look for the easy-open red arthritis cap. we're going to take you to scranton now where vice president joe biden is about to introduce the president. >> my town, mr. president. the president's right behind the curtain. i know you know my native town, scranton. but i'd like to introduce mr. president because you can hear me back there, the community that formed everything i believe. my absolute conviction that if you give ordinary folks a fighting chance, they can and do do extraordinaire things. my absolute conviction. born out of my being raised about 20 blocks from here. conviction that the class is what made this
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country great. and my certain knowledge that people who grew up in neighborhoods like this one, the one i grew up in scranton, have big just as big, just as expansive and just as accomplishable as any place in the world. as i said, mr. president, i grew up not many blocks from here where we are today. and i can tell you there wasn't a mom or dad in my neighborhood, green ridge up by marywood, not a single one, not a single one that believed their child couldn't grow up to be anything they wanted to be. not a doubt in their mind. as they struggled but no doubt, if they were willing to work hard, we could do whatever we wanted to do and guess what, they were absolutely right. you know, mr. president, some
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might think this is a bit of nostalgia on my part talking about bobby, talking about my native town like i am, and by the way, by the way, there's only three women who that i know who are close to perfect. one was perfect, the blessed mother, the other was my mother and the other is bobby's mom. ellen casey right there. [ applause ] a lot of you ask, why i left scranton when i was a kid. i went to st. paul's and lives in north washington. why i left scranton. it was simple. i lived 3 1/2 blocks from the caseys and i knew that only one of us were going to be able to make it big and it wasn't going to be me. so i had to get out because casey would dominate. it's not just me believing this about my native town. there's a large new study been
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done by a group of four economists as the harvard and the university of california-berkeley and here's what their study concluded and this is just about a month ago. study. "scranton still stands out as odds of climbing to the middle class." mr. president, the american dream is alive here in scranton. it's alive here in scranton. and i think, i think i know the reason why it's alive. values. that have made the middle class possible to america still matter here. community, hard work. personal responsibility. faith, family. but most of all, the value that is held most dear by this community that was held most dear by my mom and dad as they were raising me here and is still held dear by everyone is
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opportunity. that's the reason, simple opportunity. that's the value that sets america apart from the rest of the world. opportunity. it's about making sure that folks have the opportunity to reach their god-given potential and i'm proud to say my hometown is one of those places where working. and that's why, that's why this is a perfect place to talk about have a bunch of economists that us and are brilliant. they like to tell us the middle class and give us an i number. they'll say the middle class is 49,871 or 51. the middle class isn't a number. i tell them that it's about -- it's about understanding. in your bones the middle class, middle class is about a value set. being able to own your home and not just rent it. it's about being able to live in a safe neighborhood where your kids can walk the streets. it's about the dignity of a job that allows you to support your
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family, being able to take care of your parents when they get older and hope your kids will never have to take care of you. it's about being able to send your kid to a good school where if he or she does well and qualified to get to college, you have a chance to get them there. it's about making sure that if they get there, you can afford it. and mr. president, i've never met a mother or father nor have you as we've campaigned all across this great nation whether in a poor neighborhood, an middle class or a wealthy didn't dream, child would have access to a college and as all you folks know, there's something that's -- that something is getting harder and harder to do. and that's why the president and are here today. because we can't have the doors of college shut to the kids of the middle class and those aspiring to get there, because we can't let opportunity die. you the know, there are a lot of people who tell you that you dreams in
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this country now. that today's generation of americans and tomorrow's are just not going to be able to aim as high as we did. that's a bunch of malarky. i don't believe -- i don't believe nor does the president believe that fur a minute and we never will. that has never been the story of this nation. and the president and i are determined to make sure that it's never the story. so ladies and gentlemen, it's my my friend, your president, barack obama.
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hello falcons. well, it is good to be back in scranton. i love you back. now, first of all, everybody take a seat. you know, i want everybody to be comfortable. here are some reasons i'm happy to be back in scranton. reason number one is the first time i came to scranton, i was
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invited to a st. patrick's day party. that the ladies were hosting. and i got to say, michelle got a little jealous because they were -- you know, i was getting kisses and i came home and had all this lipstick on my collar, and michelle said, what's going on there? i said no, i was just campaigning. so that makes me like scranton. a second reason that i love okay.
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we will be back with more of the president. we're going to fix that technical problem and we'll be right back. let's go to kristen welker traveling with the president in scranton and part of this bus tour. what are the big themes we're expecting? earlier today it was about education. there was a town hall. what are we expecting from this address this evening? >>. >> well, i think you are going to hear more about education, college affordability. but certainly part of this broader theme, this broader campaign that president obama has been on sort of reaching out to the middle class, mapping out his sort of fiscal vision ahead of the fall budget battles with republicans. you heard vice president biden who is, of course, a native of scranton touch on some of those themes. he talked about the fact that the american dream is alive in scranton. of course, the vice president and president obama appearing
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together here in this key battleground state. the optics, a lot of people are going to be talking about what this could mean for 2016, but right now, both the president and vice president focusing on the other campaign that they are waging which is to sort of tee up these budget battles that we'll see in the fall. >> kristen welker, thank you. back to the president. >> we love his family. i am so blessed to be here in and thank you joe, for saying, yes, five years ago. third reason i love scranton is because there are a lot of caseys around here. now, joe already talked about bob casey's mom who is gorgeous and wonderful. and we love her dearly.
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but i got to admit, bob casey's not bad either. he is a great united states senator, and i'm proud to call him a friend. we love teres and we love his family. back in 2008, when we were campaigning in pennsylvania and we were having a tough time and getting bad press, bob casey was right there with me on a train, and you know, you can judge your friends not by when you're doing well when but when you're having a tough time, and that's the kind of person bob casey is. and so i'm grateful for him. we've got mayor chris daugherty is here. give him a big round of applause. the state attorney general, kathleen kane is here.
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the president of lock wanna, mark bolk is here. >> i want to say thank you for the wonderful introduction to joe. good job, erika. and finally, i want to thank all the students who are here. i know that -- looks like -- looks like we got the falcons football team here. when's your first game? 31st? you guys going to be ready? okay. i just wanted to make sure. i know classes don't start again until next week.
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so i appreciate you being inside when the day's so nice outside. you know, because these last few days of summer vacation i know are precious. but we're going to talk about something important. and that is are we doing right by not just this generation but future generations? i'm on a road trip. it started at the university of buffalo. there you go. then i went to syracuse. talked to some high school students there. then binghamton university for a town hall earlier today. have all you guys been following me around everywhere? and we're ending this bus tour here in scranton.
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and -- and i wanted to visit lackawanna college because of the great work that you're doing here, giving people a first class education that doesn't cost a fortune with support in place to make sure that students stay on track. you know, i'm told that many students here are the first in their families to attend college. and i know your families are proud of you but i'm proud of you because getting a higher education is one of the best things you can do for yourself and for your country. [ applause ] but we've got to make sure that we're doing right by you. that's why i want to talk about today, you know, over the past month, i've been visiting towns like scranton and talking about what we need to do as a country to secure a better bargain for
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the middle class and everybody who's fighting to get into the middle class. we've got to have a national strategy that grows the economy in a broad based way so that everybody who works hard has a chance to succeed. that's our goal. that's what we're fighting for. now, for the past four and a half years, we've been fighting back from a brutal recession, cost americans their jobs and homes and savings in some cases. and what happened was that recession showed what had been some longer term trends that were eroding middle class security. now, folks at the top had been doing very well. but ordinary americans hadn't seen their wages go up, hadn't seen their salaries go up.
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it was getting harder to save for your kids' college education. health care was getting harder to obtain. a lot of manufacturing had gone overseas and so what joe and i said was, our focus is not just to fix the problems created by the crisis. we've got to change the fundamentals so that we get back to the day when if you want to work hard, if you are willing to be responsible, you can make it. you can succeed. [ applause ] so we saved an auto industry. we took on a broken health care system. we invested in new technologies to achieve energy independence. we changed our tax code that was tilted too much in favor of folks who were doing very well
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at the expense of working families. we started to crack down on some of the practices we had seen in the financial sector that got us into this mess in the first place. and because of that work, our businesses today have created 7.3 million new jobs over the last 41 months. we're generating more energy than ever before. we sell more goods made in america to other countries than ever before. manufacturing is starting to come back and insource instead of outsource. health care costs are growing at the slowest rate in 50 years. our deficits are falling at the fastest rate in the 60 years.
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so thanks to the grit and recyience and hard work of the american people, and some good policies, we've been able to clear away the rubble of the financial crisis. we're laying the foundation for an economy that works for everybody. but i'll bet a lot of families in scranton will tell you, we're not yet where we need to be. we've got a lot more work to do. like i said, even before the crisis hit, we were living through a decade where almost all the productivity gains, all the benefits of technology were accruing at the very top. and the average family had seen their incomes and wages flat or actually go down a little bit. most families were working harder and harder just to get by. costs of everything elsewhere going up. but your wages and your incomes weren't going up. so
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